Donald Trump
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump waves to supporters as he arrives at a campaign rally, in Prescott Valley, Arizona Mike Segar/ Reuters

Donald Trump has shrugged off Democrat accusations that he would be too close to Russian president Vladimir Putin if elected.

Speaking at a rally in Henderson, Nevada on Wednesday (5 October), the GOP presidential nominee said he was willing to work with Russia to defeat ISIS and was prepared to give the relationship between the countries a chance.

He said people believed "Donald Trump loves Putin", adding: "I don't love, I don't hate, we'll see how it works," he said, according to POLITICO.

The Republican presidential hopeful explained in comments carried by the Associated Press he hoped the pair would have "a good relationship".

"Maybe we'll have a horrible relationship. Maybe we'll have a relationship right in the middle," he said.

It is not the first time the GOP nominee has had to defend his opinion or Putin, previously suggesting during the NBC commander-in-chief forum that Putin was a better leader than US president Barack Obama.

"The man has very strong control over a country," Trump said of Putin during the forum. "Now, it's a very different system and I don't happen to like the system, but certainly in that system, he's been a leader. Far more than our president has been a leader."

He was also widely criticised for suggesting Russia "find" Clinton's missing emails and leak the contents – something Trump maintained was a jokey comment rather than a serious suggestion.

In his latest comments on Russia, Trump told the Nevada rally he was prepared to work with them to find a solution to dealing with terrorists. "If we got along with Russia and Russia went out with us and knocked the hell out of ISIS, that's OK with me," he said.

His comments came despite the US suspending direct talks with Russia over a Syria ceasefire as relations between the two countries become increasingly strained.

Trump also took the opportunity at the Nevada rally to bask in the reflected attention his VP running mate Mike Pence scored following the 4 October debate with Hillary Clinton's running mate Tim Kaine.

He told the rally his choice of Pence as VP pick gave people the chance "to look first-hand at my judgement", adding "you need judgement for people, for deals".